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June's Journal

16/07/2018 [17:30] It was an interesting weekend, to say the least. Saturday morning started with a hot parkrun which I aimed to do in a certain time, and came within about five seconds of my target, which was good. Then as I was doing some housework I was interrupted by a neighbour who pointed out that the EWI installation had in fact covered over all of the soffit ventilation to my roof, so I had to send a quick email asking for the installation company to come and make some new holes so things were OK. After that I got a train to London and met Rachel at the hotel we were staying at. After going for a nice but surprisingly small meal at Bodean's we tried to get an early night so as to be able to get up and run 20K at 05:05 the following morning. Owing to one thing and another we ended up doing different legs of the London Relay than expected, but still managed to get the running done. We weren't alone, and my achilles tendons (and then my right groin) gave me a lot of woe from about 3K in, but in the end I decided to tough it out and get the run done. The pace went down markedly in the second 10K owing to one of the people we were running with, but that was fine by me. After the run we headed back to the hotel, showered, and then had a large breakfast. Wandering out after that we ended up going to Stratford to explore how to get someone with impaired mobility from St. Pancras to the Olympic stadium and all the way to their seat. That solved/sorted I got on a train home (which didn't leave for ages due to a missing driver, and then stopped at every blade of grass on the way home). I swapped the bike I'd been using as my daily and station bike for my other spare which Rachel had been using and then cycled home. The end of the day was mostly about dealing with passwords and LastPass before having a quick Chinese takeaway for dinner with a terrible film.

Today I waited at home until the foreman of the installation company arrived and we discussed the things I needed doing (as well as the ventilation issue) and then headed to work on my new bike (finally!). If I'm honest a lot of the day was spent tightening up my web site users' security, and not getting to the gym at lunch time. I'm about to go home and see if the plumbers have done anything to the house today, and see if I have any passport photos so that Rachel and I can buy a joint railcard this weekend coming. Also, leave out all the light fittings for the electrician tomorrow, and go to Tesco for the week's shopping. Lots still to do today!

13/07/2018 [16:10] I got home last night to find that the scaffolding had been removed from the house. This was more upsetting than anything else as I'd asked them to tell me in advance so I could get up on it and clean the upstairs windows without having to pay someone to come along with a ladder. They've promised to clean them for me, but I don't think that's going to happen. The house does look pretty good, even without the fencing having been redone or all of the plumbing and electrical bits having been put back. Hopefully all that'll happen next week. I feel pretty pleased with it, and especially that it all got done with pretty much zero rain getting in the way or in any places that would have been unhelpful. I would like some around the end of next week to wash away some of the dust and detritus that's around, as well as proving that everything is waterproof.

At work today we had a PSU failure in something I don't normally administer, but have managed to get a new one ordered for. That should arrive on Monday. I ran in this morning to collect my station bike as I rode my new one home last night, so there's that, too. Otherwise the day has been pretty much a case of keeping things running with a few judicious spins added to plates here and there, and otherwise keeping out of trouble (by which I mean starting anything important).

This weekend I'll be doing parkrun, then very briefly attending a barbeque before heading to London to meet Rachel. We'll be spending almost a full night in a hotel before getting up very early in the morning to run two legs of the London Relay. After that we'll get back to the hotel in time to shower and still make breakfast, which I imagine we'll demolish. After that we might use the hotel facilities a bit and then go our separate ways as she has social things to do and I need to be at home for Monday morning in case I need to talk to either the plumbers/electrician/carpenters about house stuff. So, we might not even be together for 24 hours, which is a bit of a shame. Still, while we're together we should have a lot of fun. I might not make it back to my Tesco before it closes on Sunday afternoon, but that probably won't matter, and I've become used to going on a Monday evening instead.

I think that's probably about it. I'm going to head off, and see if I can't get a bit of vitamin D before the end of the day.

12/07/2018 [16:40] After plenty of false starts, delays, and other issues, I final have a complete bike ready to cycle home this evening. In the end I had to resort to the workshop here to hacksaw and drill a few bits and pieces, but everything fits and, I think, should keep me safe and dry in the wet, too. Well, dry from road water anyway. I'm just scared to leave it anywhere that isn't home or work now, so I will definitely not be leaving it at the cycle park at the train station for a while. Not until I feel a whole lot less precious about it. I might not even park it at the boat house for the evening races next week, either. Although it should be pretty busy there, so far less likely to be stolen than usual.

Workwise I got some stuff sorted with Red Hat about a bug I've been seeing with the new version of Satellite, solved a few people's issues with various things, and even signed up to a Red Hat Forum in August in London. This morning's early rise and cycle to work meant I could get four servers upgraded to a slightly less neolithic version of PHP, so that was good, too. Tomorrow's the first test of an automated patching script (being run manually tomorrow) which we hope to push out to many servers in the future.

11/07/2018 [17:05] They've put what I think is the last coat of render on my house. It looks... pretty good, if very white. When I got up this morning someone came round and started doing the mastic around the edges of the windows and doors. That should hopefully hide a good few bits of missing render I noticed in a few places. I guess in a day or so they'll be putting the over-sills on all of the windows, putting back the last bits of guttering that needed to be modified, and hopefully, hopefully doing the right thing with regard to my side gate. We'll have to see about that. At the moment I can't honestly say if the house is any cooler in the heat at the moment. And obviously the jury is still out on how much warmer it's going to be come the proper cold weather at the end of the year. I'll be booking out the IR camera from the council again some time in December/January to see what differences are visible with regard to external wall temperature.

At work today I've filed a bug report about my Satellite issues, and then upgraded it to a support call to see if that progresses matters. I also put the final touches to a VM I built quickly last night, prodded people about disk space on various servers, went to the gym for a short workout, and peeled some stickers off my bike for something to do while I waited for things to happen on some servers.

Now I'm off to have a rowing outing for the first time in a year, if not more, via Evans to pick up some stays for my pannier rack so I can fit that tomorrow. With luck the inner tubes and tyres will also arrive tomorrow or Friday and I can cycle the bike home, finally.

10/07/2018 [17:55] Today was a somewhat better day. But not 100% awesome, by any means. I got in semi-early, but not as early as I would have liked owing to the EWI guys arriving just as I was wheeling my bike out of the gate, and therefore me going back to make them cups of tea. At work I started the Satellite 6.3.2 upgrade and attached the toe clips/straps to my new bike while I waited for it to do its thing. There were far more errors in the log files than I'm comfortable with, but I have to hope that the process was successful. There have been all kinds of new and interesting error/warning messages in the log files since the update too, possibly just because I've been stressing the software out by doing the client side software changes using it. The bottom line is that I've managed to get everything done on that side bar two servers. One because I have no idea where it is and it's possible it's sitting in a store room somewhere rather than powered on (which it definitely isn't) and the other is such a busy server that its ext3 filesystem can't cope with doing 'yum' commands which rebuild its cache at the same time as the massive amount of I/O it has to deal with as a load balancer. I've asked a colleague to deal with that on Thursday when it can be failed over from for a few minutes and the relevant commands run.

At lunchtime I managed to squeeze in a 30 minute erg, which seemed far harder than the last one I did for only a few more meters of distance, but them's the breaks, I guess.

Other than that, I went via Evans last night to order some extra long supports for the pannier rack for the new bike so it'll actually fit. I've also ordered slimmer tyres and, after a few hours of not remembering I didn't have them, inner tubes to go with them. Also a bell or two for this bike and the other station bike I have that Rachel's using at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to collect the supports tomorrow evening on the way to the boat house for what may be the only rowing outing I have before the races next week, and the tyres and stuff will arrive either on Thursday or Friday. Only a few more days of having to cycle the station bike with a chain that slips whenever you put down any power at all. I may walk to Tesco this evening rather than deal with loading it down with shopping, such as I can given the poor pannier rack it has.

[15:35] I've had a really poo day, and I don't really want to talk about it all that much. Nothing terrible, just a series of annoyances when it should have been a good day due to my new bike arriving. There are issues with the bits and bobs that go on it, my trains back from Croydon were terrible this morning, and the major update of Satellite I started went horribly wrong when my workstation's graphics card went nuts in the middle of it all. Luckily the latter was saved by me doing a snapshot of the VM beforehand, so I can try again tomorrow, but still. I'm off to get a haircut shortly, which might help my mood by cooling me down a little. However I don't get to go home on my new bike, and therefore don't get to go to Tesco with the new pannier rack this evening.

This weekend was nice, if a bit too hot. I did parkrun with Max and Stacey, then had them round for flapjack and cool drinks. Then I went to Croydon to see Rachel. On Sunday morning we ran in the heat and then marshalled for her local Race For Life event. The afternoon was mostly spent trying to keep cool. That's it, I'm afraid.

[16:40] Sadly, Rachel's been having train disruptions in her train travels north (via going south) today. I hope things have gone more smoothly since she got on her second train. We had a nice evening last night, although it was fairly subdued owing to some of the conversation topics we covered. This morning I headed off to work and left her to have a nice relaxing morning in bed, although we now realise that getting an earlier train would have been sensible, if we'd known just how poor the timetabling still was.

At work I did a few things, but nothing really of note, had lunch with everyone in the office at a local pub, and then gently sweated in the office for the afternoon catching up on a few emails and watching a bit of the Henley Royal Regatta online.

This weekend I may be rowing in a boat, but still haven't had confirmation. If I'm not then it'll be parkrun in the morning with Max and Stacey, with them coming back to my house afterwards to have flapjack and cookies that Rachel baked this morning before she left (she's so wonderful). Then I'll head to London to meet Rachel coming back from her parents. On Sunday we'll go for a run in the morning, then marshall at a Race for Life event local to her. If I'm rowing on the Sunday morning then I guess I won't be meeting her on Saturday, and may not make it to her on the Sunday. We'll have to see.

[16:20] The last of the early mornings for now. One server to patch, and one repeat issue of it not booting after a firmware update (solved by going into the BIOS and reconfirming all the settings). Since then there hasn't been all that much to do other than downgrade a few servers' version of Puppet via Ansible and go and do another [email protected] erg at the gym (improvement of just under 100m on Tuesday).

Rachel arrives this evening, but won't be staying for the weekend after all due to family issues. I had considered going with her, but I think it's something better done without me.

Tomorrow I may consider doing the big Satellite upgrade from 6.2 to 6.3, but then if anything goes wrong overnight I won't see it until Monday, so I may wait until then instead.

[16:55] A reasonable night's sleep was had, even though I did wake early again due to either heat or light pollution. In the end I just got up and was ready to offer the EWI people tea before going to work. At work I managed to see my club's boat not manage to make it through to the next day at Henley Royal Regatta before cycling out to get some documents witnessed/verified/whatever by my friendly solicitor. That took the place of any lunch time exercise, which was a bit annoying, but I probably needed the break. Otherwise today there was some bad news from Rachel that I can't do anything about, but is still distressing, and preparations for tomorrow's patching of the last server in this round of OS patching. I've also been told that my new bike and all its bits will be arriving on Monday (after having been teased that it might arrive tomorrow). Disappointing, but not all that bothersome in the grand scheme of things.

[17:10] Saw Rachel off this morning after a slightly better night's sleep due, in part, to going to Homebase last night and picking up some blackout curtains to make the bedroom just a little bit darker during these summer months. It was still far too hot (something I hope the EWI eventually helps with a bit), but far nicer for us to be together than apart.

At work I've had something of a placeholder day in terms of getting things done. Things have been done, but not really anything of any import. I did go over to one of the server rooms and do a major set of firmware updates on a server which is currently between services, and everything seemed to go well on that score. I also went to the gym at lunchtime today rather than run and did a 30 minute erg instead. Something I haven't done in a very long time.

[17:30] It was Rachel's birthday weekend, so I tried to do all kinds of things that Rachel would enjoy. We didn't do anything amazing, but we did do some fun things. Saturday morning was parkrun, which resulted in her getting her fastest time of the year, and me trailing behind her by a good minute and a half, then there was food and lots of relaxing and reading in the sun, followed by Indian food for dinner. On Sunday we made the slightly ill-advised decision to get a train away from the city and run back to it along the river. It was a bit too hot for me and we ended up having to walk bits and bobs of it rather than having me collapse with heat exhaustion. Still, I survived, we had a lovely time (relatively speaking) and then there was the chance for ice cream while we walked to retrieve our bikes from the closest train station. After that we met Max and Stacey and a few others at a local pub before going home for a roast dinner.

We had another moderately poor night's sleep last night, owing to both heat and light in the bedroom, so we're going to go home from the swimming pool this evening via Homebase to buy some blackout curtains to see if that helps. Not that I'll be swimming, I'll be relaxing on the grass and reading whilest Rachel swims for England. One day I should have some proper swimming lessons so I can do front crawl properly and maybe enter a triathlon or two.